I came across two instances this week where two women from showbiz dared to share a bit of their personal life by giving an opinion and posting a picture, ironically both selfie related.

The first was Indian actress Shruti Seth who chose Twitter as her medium to share her views about Prime Minister Modi’s #SelfieWithDaughter campaign. She criticized the campaign calling him a ‘selfie obsessed PM.’ Taking a quick look through his recent trips, she really was not far from the truth. He certainly does like his selfies.

The point is like all citizens she is entitled to an opinion and she gave it. She said she wanted actual reforms and not just pictures.

That is when, as Shruti puts it eloquently herself, “the floodgates from hell opened.”

For the next few days, she was bombarded with insults. That is fine too, like I said, no one is above criticism and the people were giving their own opinion as well. However, when you actually sit and read what was said, it was not just criticism but pure abuse, which spoke volumes about the way these commentators viewed women in general.

I fail to understand the need for men and women alike who asked her if she knew who her real father was and if she had been sexually abused as a child. What did this comment have to do with her opinion? It would be pertinent to mention that many of the men asking her these questions had posted selfies with their own daughters not too long ago. Another genius said to her that as she had criticized someone older, she was now an animal who deserved no respect. I won’t even try to understand the logic behind this one. There were those who abused her 11 month old child and questioned her choices for marrying a Muslim man. There were also many messages from men who said they would do obscene things to her to teach her a lesson. They also asked her if she was a prostitute and if that was the line of work her daughter would follow.

The whole point for the campaign was to respect females, to bring about awareness and just this one incident has shown how little there is of it. She may have been wrong about the campaign and perhaps had even resorted to giving an opinion just for attention like some say (I personally doubt it though), however the end result has shown that the campaign itself is pointless. No matter how many selfies people posted with their daughters, it is completely meaningless and useless when the reality is that they think women are not worthy of respect and are worthless. The mindset needs to be changed; maybe then the selfies will make more sense.

The second instance I came across was of Pakistani singer Komal Rizvi who posted a selfie with humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi. It doesn’t take much for Pakistanis to go on a hate-war-parade with guns blazing to spew venom especially on social media. This was another one of those instances. She was told to go die by many of her ‘fans.’ I don’t understand what purpose that comment served but it was made several times.

From what I understand, she visited a person she greatly admires and got a chance to spend time with him and his family. A lot of people are saying that she should not have taken a selfie with him considering his health.

First of all, everyone and I do mean everyone wants a picture taken with people they admire. Komal was no different. Secondly, Edhi Sahab is certainly not well, but is not critically ill. He is also conversing with people around him. He is talking and perfectly capable of telling a person to back off.

And assuming that he is not, for the sake of argument, I think his wife, who was present throughout the meeting would have told her not to take a picture with him. She is an outspoken strong lady and I am quite sure, would have spoken her mind and told her to stop, physically even if needed be.  

Usually, a sick person doesn’t want people around him who just look depressed and glum. A person who is not well wants people to talk about things other than the sickness and to lighten up the mood. Komal talked, laughed and sang for him, it seems that she certainly did that. Contrary to what Edhi Sahab will feel when he actually reads the comments posted about her visit.

On the flip side of the selfie debate, there are also other pictures where he made the effort to get up and pose for them too; this insinuates that he was okay with the selfie as well.

The sad part is that Komal has been doing a lot of charity work this Ramadan and most of the people on her Facebook page and elsewhere kept mum about it, ignored it and did not have much to say about it either.  They were too busy stuffing their own mouths to be bothered. But of course when it comes to criticism, they were all out and about with their Caps Lock on and insults ready.

I keep repeating myself and once again, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, and no one is above criticism, and everyone had full right to tell Komal that they think what she did was wrong.

However, like Shruti, she was instead abused, her family was dragged in as well and imaginary and ridiculous situations were created regarding her own father.

I made a comment on her page in support of her, and as vocal as I am about most things, this was the first time as far back as I can remember, my comment was flagged enough times to be given a warning by Facebook. That many people in a matter of hours reported it just because I said it was ok if Edhi Sahab was ok with it.

Both women Shruti and Komal were abused, called names, told to die, and their dignity as women tried to be stripped off of them by men and women alike.  Both were called attention seekers who were trying to revive their careers. Both were subjected to pointless degradation as women.  In both cases no one actually tried having an actual civil debate that stuck to the actual issues making their points about why they think what they did was wrong. People were more concerned about the finality of their own opinions and how to somehow shut these women up by abusing them, slut shaming them and degrading them as human beings.

I shudder at the thought what these people would do if they were in positions of actual power and not just keyboard warriors on Facebook. Their choice of words certainly reflects a lot on their personalities.

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered” – Michael J. Fox.